Australian Embassy

Australian Government Leading the Fight Against Regional Terror

Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC

Media Release

28 July 2017

Australian Government Leading the Fight Against Regional Terror

I will today travel to Indonesia to co-host - with the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs - the inaugural Regional Meeting on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Cross Border Terrorism.  This is a key initiative to coordinate a region-wide response to the threat of terror. It is indicative of Australia’s role in the region that Indonesia has invited us to co-host the summit.

As ISIL continues to lose territory in the Middle East, and with the ongoing threat of returning foreign fighters to our region, it is critical we collaborate with our international partners to strengthen our regional security architecture, coordination and intelligence sharing.

Terrorist fighters returning from the conflict zone will have a greater capability and propensity for violence and pose a serious threat to our region. ISIL has declared its desire to establish a regional caliphate and the evolving situation in the southern Philippines is of great concern.

This is why the Australian Government is co-hosting this important meeting with Indonesia, which also includes Ministers and senior national security officials from the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and New Zealand.

At the meeting, participating countries will consider how we develop and coordinate responses to shared security challenges, including by enhancing information and intelligence sharing with regional partners to track terrorist movements and disrupt terrorist networks.

We will also discuss strategies to counter violent extremism, strengthen legal frameworks to counter terrorism, and better interdict threats at the border by adopting more integrated regional approaches to border management.

There will be discussions on cyber, including the challenges posed by the increased use of encrypted communications by terrorists. We will also explore options to collaborate across the region to address terrorist use of the internet, undermining the ability of terrorists to spread propaganda and hate, and strengthening the voices of those who speak out against violence.

Terrorism transcends national boundaries, and closer cooperation on counter-terrorism issues is critical to strengthening our national and regional security. We look forward to working with our regional partners to enhance our already robust relationships and keep our people safe.